Members of Pearson Milking Technology, which is based in Athy, accepting their awards at the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Awards 2022. Pic: Facebook
A Kildare-based technology company won two prestigious awards in a ceremony held at the National Ploughing Championships.
Pearson Milking Technology (PMT) won the Farm Automation Award and was also the overall winner collecting the Innovator of the Year Award for Established Company at this year's Enterprise Ireland Innovation Awards.
Headquartered in Athy for over 75 years, the company supplies dairy equipment and technology to farmers in Ireland, the UK and 20 other countries globally.
Director David Pearson added: "Pearson Milking Technology was founded in 1948 by our grandparents.
"Our Granny was an entrepreneur and our Grandad was an engineer."
The business' winning innovation is an automated body condition scoring product called 'Bullseye.'
PMT explained: "The Body Condition Score of a cow is a key metric in assessing the animal in terms of whether they are under or overweight.
"By automatically estimating the Body Condition Score of the animal, feed can be adjusted which in turn helps to keep the cow in ideal condition impacting on fertility, sustainability and of course animal welfare."
'A REALLY SMART SOLUTION'
Speaking on behalf of Enterprise Ireland, James Moloney said: "Pearson Milking Technology have developed a really smart solution, a really good labour saving device on farm.
"We see this as a solution which has applicability across any milking platform across the globe.
"With Bullseye, Pearson’s have taken their business one step further and integrated artificial intelligence and computer vision into a really exciting new product."
Mr Pearson elaborated: "We have manufactured milking equipment and technology for dairy farms from five cows to 5,000 cows.
"To be the overall winner of the Innovation Awards at this years National Ploughing Championship is very important to us and is a great accolade for us when we go to meet our international partners."
Explaining 'Bullseye's origin, Co-Director Lloyd Pearson said that the product came from an on-farm problem: "We took this challenge back to our Research and Development lab, collaborated with Technological University Dublin and are now delighted to be launching this product for dairy farmers at this years National Ploughing Championship.
"Body condition scoring is a time consuming, subjective piece of work. As herd sizes increase, we see a really important role for Bullseye in automating body condition scoring and giving real time decision making information to dairy farmers."
PMT's Lee Wilson, who headed up the 'Bullseye' project, also commented: "We had an excellent collaboration with TU Dublin.
"We engage heavily in R&D to improve our technology for dairy farmers, and the expertise of the team in TU Dublin added significant value.
"Our Bullseye automated body condition scoring product involves both IoT (Internet of Things) and sensor technology.
"This innovation will make a significant difference to dairy farmers in Ireland, the UK and internationally from both an economic and environmental sustainability perspective as well as from an animal welfare perspective," Mr Wilson concluded.
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